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It is nearly time that Australian men and women be given assurance that the affordable on-grid energy storage system is on its way into making place in the market. They have seen some dark days for years now, both, literally and figuratively, and without an effective solution in place, so it is time that Australian homes be ushered into a new age where energy storage systems like the Teesta Powerwall be made available to them at low cost. But that comes with certain considerations.

While there is much talk about a low-cost energy saving system, the question lies in making a choice. Would you prefer to install the cheaper anti-islander inverter and experience occasional power outages? Or would you choose the more sophisticated islanding inverter which extracts power from your battery and works even while the grid is turned down but takes away that mini-vacation you had planned to Byron Bay with your family(Yes, it is certainly that expensive)?

So it is much like choosing between two mobile phone handsets-one gives you all features you desire but commands a greater price, and the other compromises on a few features but remains well within your budget. Only in this case Australia may improve her ties with another economic giant by consuming what is ‘Made in China’!


The problem with a grid-connected rooftop solar system is that electricity cannot be retrieved from the solar panels when the grid goes down (and that is to prevent the mishap cum dance performance that follows in case a lineman comes in contact with what seemed like a dead cable). Perhaps, this seems to explain the saying that goes about how each situation can be seen both, in positive and negative light. But the reality is that these anti-islanding inverters are easy to procure, cost-friendly and ensure safety of linemen while they work to the best of their abilities to restore light during a power cut in your homes.


Islanding inverter

For all those households that are looking for an alternative to blackouts, a potential solution is the islanding inverter a.k.a the off-grid inverter. Now, the motto of installing such a system is to completely do away with a power failure. In some cases, a generator is also connected with the system; even though you may question that the entire purpose of installing such a system stands defeated if a generator were connected to an inverter. But the cause of worry of this system would be its cost. Add to that, batteries need to be fully charged all throughout the day to survive the nights, which means enough solar power must be available on rooftops.

Can there be a third choice?

What’s worse is that even if a possible middle ground were to be struck, it would still be very expensive. For example, a model I came across required plug points of all appliances to be plugged into an inverter which would behave like a generator and seemed a healthy alternative if only it cost half (if not less) as much as an islanding inverter! Even though it is expected that the price of an islanding inverter would be more competitive in the future so as to enable Tesla to sell more, today’s reality speaks differently.


Statistics conservatively suggest that Australia has seen power outages almost only once in three years so far, which speaks volume of how well grid-electricity works in the country. This also indirectly means that millions of dollars need not be spent on acquiring the islanding inverter. For now we can very well do with its cheaper counterpart or a generator. And in case you would prefer saving even those dollars for an expensive a-la-carte at one of the flamboyant restaurants in the suburbs, your priorities are already set!

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